Cove youth kick off summer with annual sports camps
By TJ MAXWELL
Around 100 campers came out to learn the basic fundamentals of football and volleyball this week in Copperas Cove as coaches held their annual camps for students grades 1-6.
Former football and track standout and current Bulldawg coach, Donald Buckram, directed the football camp with a plethora of coaches along with current and former players, including Cove alum and former NFL Europe player Walter Pam – sponsored this year’s camp.
Buckram knows that getting the youth involved early is key to maintaining a successful high school program.
“I think it’s a good thing that the players, coaches and parents all come out in the community,” said Buckram. “We’re not going to have a strong unit of Copperas Cove Bulldawgs if it’s not the entire community. If it’s just players and coaches, it‘s going to be watered down. If we get everybody involved, it’s going to be a lot more fun and a lot more successful.”
Not only are camps valuable for the bonding process, but they are vital to learning as well.
“The more you hear it, the more it’s going to stick,” said Buckram. “We say ‘muscle memory’, well it’s the same thing with training your brain. If we keep telling them to move this way or that way, they’re going to do it eventually. Repetition is the father of learning I believe. If they hear it 1,000 times, maybe they’ll get it on the 1,001.”
Campers learned the basic fundamentals of the sport while having fun as well.
For the football campers, speed and agility drills ruled the day as well as passing, catching and tackling.
For the volleyball campers, it’s about footwork and hand-eye coordination with an emphasis on passing, setting and spiking.
Buckram added a program is only successful is everyone buys in, including former players and parents like camp sponsor Walter Pam.
“It should show a sense of pride,” he said. “If we have guys coming back from 10 or 15 years ago, we have guys currently playing, we have little kids, we have parents that were former Bulldawgs sharing their experiences here, it’s just going to build a strong community for Copperas Cove in general.”
The football camp concluded with a spirited 7 on 7 contest and donated watermelon from the First Baptist Church of Copperas Cove.
Football is serious business in Texas, but it is also a lot of fun.
Buckram wants parents and children they missed out on this year’s camp to know what fun the camps are.
“I’m not boasting or bragging, but they missed a good time,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun. People think of football as hard, mean, tough and aggressive but, at the same time, it’s a lot of fun.
“If people come out and see it and participate in it, they’ll understand. You may see one of football on Tv or head one side of it on the news, but you come out and do it yourself, it’s more fun and less grind.”
The older campers will get their shot later on in the summer. The Cove volleyball camp for grades 7-9 will be held July 29-31 and the football campers for grades 7-9 will get to work July 29 through August 1.
The register for the volleyball and football camps; along with baseball (June 10-13), girls’ basketball (June 10-13), boys’ basketball (June 17-20), soccer (June 24-27), boys’ summer pride (June 10-July 25), girls’ summer pride (June 10-July 25), wrestling (July 11-12) and softball (July 15-18); visit http://copperascoveisd.store.rankonesport.com/camp/list then select your school and your sport.